Given that I engineered first position on the parent phone tree, my daughter called us from South Africa at seven-thirty this morning to report that they arrived safely and the hostel where they will be staying is "truly awesome for realz." She sounded very much as she did the morning after her first sleepover at a friend's house when she was five, full of excitement that she was living it. I felt perfectly happy and not at all put out as I dialed the next five sets of house phones and cells phones listed on the phone tree and left voice mails that our travel group was fine. I finally roused a sleepy father who agreed to take over the calling from there.
Back on this side of the world, my aunt was clear in her speech for almost fifteen minutes this morning and we had a good conversation in which she instructed me that my daughter should apply to Barnard. My aunt spent decades of her working life there running the mail room and copying services and metaphorically opening doors for her nieces. She wanted to know where else her grandniece was interesting in applying and had she taken "that test they have to take" yet? She meant the SAT probably. I explained that my girl was taking the ACT instead, and had already posted a very decent score on her trial run last December, but would be taking it again to push it higher. This was about the place where the conversation went off the rails.
My aunt started telling me something about her 14-year-old grandson who lives in Virginia, and I couldn't quite get what she was saying. She made it sound as if her grandson had been there the evening before and had made some comment that worried her and she needed to talk to him about it. I knew I was missing something because my nephew is still in Virginia, so his grandmother must have visited with him in her dreams. But I did get one part of what she said. She asked who would look out for him (she didn't say when I'm gone) and I promised her we all would.
My son went out without his ortho boot last night, he wore regular sneakers and his ankle was fine. The bruising and the swelling are completely gone and although he still treats the injury with respect, he says the ankle feels "back to normal." He and my niece left this morning to return to school after a rather celebratory spring break, and now my true love and I are alone at home, entirely unsupervised.